CYBERKNIFE FOR PROSTATE CANCER _ WHAT PATIENTS FEEL
Compensating for Prostate Movement: The prostate gland can move unpredictably throughout the course of treatment that makes the ability to track, detect and correct for motion critically important. Unlike any other radiation treatment, the CyberKnife System continually tracks and automatically corrects for the movement of the prostate in real time. This enables the system to correct the beam direction so that it is focused on the prostate throughout the entire treatment. The robot constantly monitors and aligns the real time location of the prostate to ensure any adjustments in the beam delivery match the prepared treatment plan while automatically correcting for any movement during a treatment by relaying critical logistical information to the system software. Safety mechanisms are in place to ensure that the beam of radiation is ‘locked on’ to the intended target should your prostate move out of acceptable range. For example, if a gas bubble is moving through the rectum or the bladder starts to fill during treatment, a system correction compensating for movements of the prostate automatically occurs.
Reduced Treatment Time: Compared to alternative treatments that can take up to 8 - 9 weeks (including relocation in some cases) or 40 - 45 sessions of radiation therapy, an entire CyberKnife® treatment plan can be completed in 4 to 5 sessions. Each treatment session is typically completed in one hour or less. the CyberKnife System is designed to treat with a higher per-fraction dose given its superior accuracy. This substantially reduced treatment timeframe is advantageous for busy men seeking the least amount of disruption to their daily lives.
A Non-Invasive Procedure: Aside from the placement of tiny gold markers called fiducials inside of the prostate, a pre-treatment procedure that assists the imaging system to more accurately target tumors, the CyberKnife treatment process is completely non-invasive. No incisions, anesthesia or hospitalization are required. The CyberKnife robot moves quietly around a patient who lies comfortably on the treatment table. The robot will move in nearly every direction to fully deliver the prescribed treatment dose.This is in contrast to laparoscopic surgery or a traditional prostatectomy that involves incisions and associated risks. Surgical procedures usually involve general anesthesia which may last up to several hours. As with any surgical procedure, potential risks include bleeding and infection and, depending on a patient’s overall health condition, other complications including incontinence and/or erectile dysfunction. In addition, surgery requires mandatory hospitalization and catheterization.
And compared to High-Dose-Rate brachytherapy (HDR) the CyberKnife System delivers the same dose of killing radiation to the prostate, but does so without the insertion of multiple catheters. HDR typically involves a hospital stay, over a 24 hour period, and places 15-20 catheters into the prostate, through the perineum. Through these catheters a machine pushes a single highly radioactive iridium seed into the catheters one by one. Low-Dose-Rate, or LDR brachytherapy (also known as seed brachytherapy) is also an invasive procedure in which dozens of radioactive seeds are permanently implanted in the prostate with needles inserted through the perineum to deliver radiation over many weeks.
WHAT PATIENTS SAY ABOUT PROSTRATE CANCER
A CyberKnife Coalition survey conducted between February – March 2011, 304 participants were asked why they chose CyberKnife SBRT over other treatment options.
Here is what they said:
84% Most comfortable with risk/side effects
81% Seemed like the best options among my choices
66% Offers the latest technology
59% Most likely to eradicate/eliminate the cancer
36% Least amount of time away from work
18% Not a surgical candidate
Additional results of this survey found that:
99% of patients described their treatment as successful
93% of patients indicated that SBRT did not interrupt their normal life routine
98% of patients indicated they would recommend SBRT treatment to others
99% of patients indicated they would choose to be treated with SBRT again